Update's kind of belated, sorry but I got pretty busy. Anyway, here it is!
Blazing Chaos: Wow... I love your long reviews! :D I'm really glad that you like my story so much. I was very careful when writing this story, because I have never been in such a situation myself and I wasn't sure if the way I made the characters behaved was realistic. Re-reading my previous chapter, it does seem like Takeru's parents rather under-reacted to his outburst, so I'm glad you think that it's appropriate. I guess his parents just didn't know how to react to something so sudden! Your reviews are very encouraging, thanks!
Xanpluto: I guess it's because he's been holding all these back for quite a while now. The Miracle Powder and everything were like the last straw!
HLTY: Thanks for the review! It's so cool that you actually translated my fanfiction. Do you translate it to French, like what Blazing Chaos said?
ARCtheElite: Yep! And the hardest part to write (for me). And yes, it was the Chinese New Year holidays. I'm still recovering from a sore throat from the over-indulgence, oh my.
PrincessJaded: Yeah, the Powder is working, I suppose... in a really ironic sense. The biting bit was rather random, glad that you liked it!
Aster Selene: Thanks for the info! I never noticed the change in brotherly terms from season one to two. *goes off to edit every chapter* You're so well-versed in Japanese and all the terminology! I'm impressed!
Light-of-Hope-07: Yeah, it bugs me too! I hate waiting at clinics. XD It's kind of impossible for the family to "get back together", actually (how many divorced couples reunite?) but let's hope that this confrontation at least makes them a little bit closer!
Also thanks to guavawolf for reviewing! :)
So. This is the final chapter. (No epilogue; I don't think there's a need for one.) So read on and hope you guys enjoy this final instalment! Have fun!
Wish In A Bottle: A Digimon Fanfiction
Wish In A Bottle: A Digimon Fanfiction
With Yamato leading the way, the two brothers walked to the toilet in complete silence. They soon reached the entrance, and Yamato turned to look at Takeru.
"Here we are," he said, gesturing. Takeru was reminded, strangely enough, of a tour guide. "Don't worry, it's pretty clean."
"Right," Takeru said, stepping into the toilet. Yamato chose to wait for him outside. He quickly entered one of the cubicles and locked the door.
Once in the cubicle, he leaned his head against the door and sighed. His mind was in a whirl, and if Yamato was going to confront him, he needed to clear the thoughts in his head first.
What had made him say all those stuff – in front of his family, no less? All along, he had told himself that the Miracle Powder was a fake, that it was nothing more than some cheap powder or flour disguised as something more. He had laughed off Patamon's words, scoffed at Mike in the mall, and even got the Powder checked to prove himself right. He had been so sure that the Powder was a fake. He had told himself that miracles would never happen.
But – it was the whole deep-down thing, wasn't it? Takeru knew that he had to admit it to himself if he wanted to clear his thoughts. And yes, deep down he had hoped and wondered if the Miracle Powder could really bring a, well, miracle to their family. He had known it was impossible, but he couldn't help hoping, anyway. And to top it all off, what miracle had he wanted? Takeru groaned as the painful words came into his mind. For us all... to be back together again.
He really, really did not want to talk to Yamato about this. Yes, out of everyone he knew, Yamato was probably the best choice – but still, it didn't make things much better. He didn't want his brother to think he was silly and childish for hoping for something that was clearly impossible. And, most of all, he didn't want to be so dependent on his brother – it was as though he was running to Yamato for help (like he had done so often in the past), when Yamato was able to deal with all these last time - all by himself. He had always depended so much on his brother - but who did his brother have to seek solace from? Nobody. It's just a divorce. Lots of people go through this, Takeru told himself brutally. Why should I be so affected? I should just learn to live with it!
He glanced at his watch – he had been in the toilet for well over five minutes, and he decided he had better get out before Yamato got worried. He opened the door slowly and exited.
Yamato was leaning against the wall, humming to himself. Takeru recognized the tune as one of his band's songs. "Hey, I'm out," he said, walking over to his brother.
"Oh, good." Yamato straightened and looked hard at Takeru. Never one to beat around the bush, he said without hesitation, "Takeru, we need to talk."
Takeru forced out a laugh. "There's nothing to talk about, nii-san," Yamato raised an eyebrow, and he continued, "What I said in the clinic was just a little slip-up. It was embarrassing, yeah, but I didn't mean anything by it. Now let's go back before we miss our number."
Yamato sighed. "You know we won't miss our number. We're 38 in the queue, remember? And we're not going back until I talk to you about this."
Takeru scowled at his brother. The last time Yamato had been so insistent about Takeru listening to him, he was about nine years ago. Takeru had matured alot since then, and had become much more independent. The fact that Yamato was now using this old, familiar tone with him was rather disconcerting.
"Alright," Takeru sighed. He walked over to a nearby stone bench and sat down. "What do you want to talk about?"
Yamato plopped down next to him. "The divorce," he said bluntly.
I can handle it myself, nii-san. Takeru straightened up and looked at Yamato. "What about it?"
Yamato sighed once more. "Stop putting on that tough front, Takeru. We're brothers. I can see right through it."
Now it was Takeru's turn to scowl. "What tough front? I'm not putting on anything! Why can't you accept the fact that I'm dealing with the divorce as well as you did? I can handle it myself, nii-san!"
There was a pause. Then Yamato spoke, strangely quietly. "What makes you think I dealt with it well?"
Takeru stared at him, thrown off by his brother's sudden words. He had always felt that his brother had dealt with his emotions very well, hardly ever betraying any form of sadness or frustration in front of Takeru, or anyone else, for that matter. When they had all been in the Digital World, Takeru knew that his brother had had his moments of frustration and bottled-up anger, but apart from Taichi he never did take it out on anyone, and he had still been able to make it his priority to take care of Takeru. Sure, his relationship with his mother had been rocky at first, but that was completely understandable. Anyhow, they were on much better terms now, and Yamato had came through all by himself. He hadn't needed anyone to "counsel" him and make him feel better.
"Well..." Takeru said slowly, "You know... you never did say anything about the divorce. You seemed fine with it, and now, you're on good terms with Mum, and... you've just always seemed very secure about the whole issue."
"Well, you've got it all wrong if you think that way," Yamato replied at once. "Of course I was affected by the divorce! Who wouldn't be? The only reason why you think I handled it well, Takeru, is because you were too young to see how I was really like. All the fights I got into with Taichi, all the feelings I kept bottled inside of me until I nearly exploded? It's better to let everything out instead of keeping it all in, you know."
"But – still..." Takeru struggled, trying to find the right words. "It's just that – I feel stupid. I still hope that one day, we might all get back together again. When we were fighting BelialVamdemon – " he felt his face turn red, but decided to press on anyway. He had to make his point across. "we all saw our deepest desires, and I saw – I saw our whole family eating lunch together. How can I be so dumb? I mean, I know it's impossible. Why do I still think that way then?"
Yamato's eyes were sad as he surveyed Takeru. "It's natural to feel this way," he told him. "I used to feel that way all the time. Heck, sometimes I still wonder. What would it be like if Mum and Dad never got divorced? Would we be different if we actually lived under the same roof and saw each other every day?"
Takeru looked down at his knees. These same thoughts had occurred to him many times.
"There's something I've never told you, and I think now'd be a good time to," Yamato continued. "I... used to think that I wasn't good enough. I thought I was the reason why Mum and Dad divorced."
Takeru stared at him, surprised. "But why would you think that?"
"Well – I thought I wasn't good enough for Mum," Yamato sighed. "I thought that maybe I had been too naughty, or too noisy, and that I was the cause of all their arguments, and eventually, their split." He took a deep breath, then continued, "I thought Mum didn't want to take me with her because she thought I'd be too troublesome as compared to you. It's really stupid, but I thought she just didn't love me enough."
"Wow," Takeru said softly. "I never knew that."
Yamato smiled slightly. "And you thought I handled it well, huh? It wasn't only until Mum wanted to talk to me one day that I saw things clearer. Mind you, I was as reluctant as you are right now when she wanted to talk." His smiled widened a little. "So, little bro, you are not a silly little weakling for feeling this way. It's completely normal. Also, I know you didn't want to talk to me about it because you didn't want me to see you as a weakling. Why would I ever do that? I went through the same things as you, if not worse. Trust me, it's much better to talk about it."
Takeru gazed off at the small, stumpy tree that was next to the bench, but was not really looking at it. He had no idea that Yamato had felt this way, that he actually had had a similar heart-to-heart talk with their mother. Was he feeling the same way his brother did about three years ago? Was it – normal? Normal to desire the impossible, normal to have the need to pour out your feelings to someone close to you?
Yamato glanced at his brother and said, simply, "It's normal to hope, Takeru. Everyone does."
Takeru knew, inside, that his brother was right. Everyone hoped for the impossible, and he knew it. He knew Ken secretly wished that his brother had never died, and that he could bring back every single Digimon he had killed while he was Kaizer. The same was for Iori and his father. He had thought it perfectly normal for his friends to feel this way – he had just never applied this to himself.
"And as for the Miracle Powder," Yamato spoke suddenly, "You shouldn't blame yourself for it. If you want to blame anyone, blame that horrible swindler. It was an honest mistake that you made."
He's right, Takeru thought, and he felt as though a huge weight had been lifted off his chest. Yes, the sadness was still there, and deep down, he would always harbour the insane hope for the impossible. But at least he felt much better about them. It was okay to feel this way. He knew that now.
"Thank you, nii-san," Takeru said quietly, looking up at his brother. "You've really made me feel much better."
"My pleasure," Yamato grinned, reaching out and ruffling Takeru's hair affectionately. Takeru smiled, and Yamato stood up, stretching.
"We'd better go back," he said, pointing in the direction of the clinic. "Or else we might really miss our number , and Mum and Dad will skin us alive."
The two of them reached the clinic just in time and all four of them entered the Doctor's room together. Takeru was thankful that the doctor didn't raise any queries about the differing surnames, or make any reference about them as a family. Takeru, Yamato and Hiroaki were all diagnosed with food poisoning, though thankfully not a serious case. They were given medicine and instructed to stay at home to rest for the next two days.
"Boy, I'm hungry," Yamato said, rubbing his stomach as they left the clinic. "All that waiting really fuelled my craving for chicken soup."
"There's a nice restaurant down the road," Hiroaki said. "We could go there for lunch, if you want."
Natsuko smiled at Yamato and Hiroaki. "We'll go off first, then." She said. "Take care and don't eat too much. I'm surprised you even have the appetite when you're so sick!"
"I don't know why, but I feel much better already," Yamato replied, smiling slightly.
Takeru smiled at his brother and father. He was about to say goodbye, too, when Hiroaki suddenly spoke.
"It's pretty late. Why don't we have lunch together first and then I fetch you guys home? It's on the way."
Takeru blinked, surprised. He glanced at his mother at once. She looked a little surprised, too. Then she smiled and nodded in agreement.
"Sure," she looked at Takeru. "Do you feel well enough for that, dear?"
"Oh – yeah!" Takeru said quickly.
"I'll lead the way to the restaurant." Hiroaki said. He walked off, slightly ahead of the rest, and they followed.
His parents would never get back together, Takeru knew that. The differences between them were too big. Everything had changed too much for their relationship to ever be repaired. But maybe – just maybe – the two of them could still be friends.
One of the first things Natsuko did, as soon as they got home, was to contact the shopping mall about a swindler who had been selling "Miracle Powder" right outside the mall when it was nothing more then harmful powder. The satisfying reply was that Mike had been apprehended recently, for someone else had gone through the same agony and had called to complain. What the White Powder really was was flour. Expired flour, no less.
Upon making the call, she turned to her youngest son, and Takeru knew that she wanted to talk to him about what he had blurted out in the clinic. This time, he didn't resist or complain. The talk led to a conversation about Takeru's childhood, and brought back loads of nostalgic memories (including a memorable incident in which Takeru swallowed a marble and was rushed to the hospital). It was one of the nicest conversations he had ever had with his mother for a long time.
Things seemed to go back to normal after the incident. For quite a while, an image of Mike's face would float into Takeru's face whenever he saw a packet of flour. As a result, he didn't continue with the new venture of baking for quite a while, even though Yamato had sent him the recipe for the famous chocolate chip cookies.
Natsuko was more busy with work then ever, but she tried to find time to have dinner with Takeru whenever she could. Takeru appreciated that – and he was glad, too, when Yamato told him that Natsuko had asked him to come over for dinner the following weekend, and that he had said yes.
Takeru hardly talked to his father except when he visited once a year on the 1st August, but Takeru noticed that his father was now trying a bit harder. Takeru's "resistance" against any form of white powder was finally broken one day when he taught Hiroaki how to bake his beloved Strawberry Cake, under the latter's request. It turned out as delicious as the first batch – even better this time, for it had no undesired side effects.
And finally, to top it all off, the news of Mike the Swindler was published in the newspapers! Apparently, he was an experienced swindler who liked to dress up as some sort of weird, mystical character when he sold his goods. He had been sentenced to two months' jail, and had his license permanently revoked.
In a way, Takeru couldn't help but muse – in a strange, unexpected manner, the Miracle Powder had brought along changes into the Takaishi and Ishida households. Small, subtle changes, but changes that were good enough to make a pleasant difference in all their lives. Who would have thought? It was nothing more than a bottle of expired flour that had brought along all these, but if he could turn back time... Takeru knew that he would do the same thing all over again.
Okay, I know I said there was going to be an epilogue but somehow, I don't see the need for one anymore. So this is the final chapter. I hope the ending isn't too cheesy... please tell me what you guys think! Hooray, I've actually managed to finish a second multi-chapter story without deleting it halfway!!
And with that, it's time for a shameless plug-in. Heh. I've started a new Digimon fanfiction titled "The New Neighbours". Do go check it out and review! :)
So, thanks to everyone who has reviewed and enjoyed my story. If not for you guys, I probably would have found it difficult to continue! Arigato!!